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A slave’s grandson was born in a poor neighbourhood of New Orleans,
known as the “Back of Town”.
His father abandoned the family when the child was an infant. His mother became a prostitute and the boy and his sister had to live with their grandmother. Early in life, he proved to be gifted for music and, with three other kids, he sang in the streets of New Orleans and his first gains were
the coins that were thrown to them.
A Jewish family, Karnovsky, who had immigrated from Lithuania to the USA , had pity for the 7-year-old boy and brought him into their home. Initially given ‘work’ in the House, to feed this hungry child. Then he remained and slept, in this Jewish family, where, for the first time in his
life he was treated with kindness and tenderness.
When he went to bed, Mrs. Karnovsky sang him a Russian Lullaby that he would sing with her. Later, he learned to sing and play several Russian and Jewish songs. Over time, this boy became the adopted son of this family. The Karnovskys gave him money to buy his first trumpet; as was the custom in the Jewish families, they sincerely admired his musical talent. Later, when he became a professional musician and composer, he used these Jewish melodies in compositions, such as “St. James Infirmary” and “Go down, Moses“.
The little black boy grew up and wrote a book about this Jewish family who had adopted him in 1907. In memory of this family and until the end of his life, he wore a star of David and he said that it is in this family that he had
learned “how to live real life and determination. ”
This little boy was called Louis Armstrong